A Tumut man, jailed since last November for having what turned out to be home made pipe bombs and gun powder, was released on parole after appearing via video link for sentencing at the Cowra Local Court on Thursday, July 23.
Peter Edward Hughes, 67, of Rankin Street, entered pleas of the guilty to the charges of possessing explosives and making prohibited weapons.
He had been in jail since November 1 after he was refused bail when charged.
Hughes was also charged, and entered a guilty plea, to displaying number plates on a trailer which were misleading.
On Thursday, Local Court magistrate Michael O'Brien sentenced Hughes to 18 months' jail with a non parole period of eight months, 17 days.
The sentence meant Hughes was eligible for release upon the rising of the court.
Police charged Hughes following a complaint from a member of the public in regards to him camping and littering at Bermagui Headland near Dickinson Park on the NSW South Coast.
He had been camping in the area between October 27 and 29.
Police attended the location on October 29 last year and spoke with Hughes regarding the number plate on his trailer.
A subsequent search of his vehicle uncovered numerous steel pipes about 10cm in length with black tape in the centre with long wicks.
The ends of the steel pipes were crimped and police formed the suspicion these were pipe bombs.
Hughes told police the pipes were "just crackers" and admitted they belonged to him and he had made them "for a hobby".
"I didn't know they were illegal," Hughes told police.
During a further search of Hughes' vehicle police uncovered more items in various locations that they believed to be pipe bombs, which he told police he had made from information he had viewed online about how to make gun powder and pipe bombs.
He told police that he had been using the items for fishing for years and "that it was just a hobby".
Magistrate O'Brien told Hughes his offences fell into an area where only a custodial sentence could be imposed.
"There was no malevolent purpose in what you did but clearly the offending is one that cannot be condoned," Mr O'Brien said.
"I note your recreational activities include camping and fishing and I don't say this in any sense to be flippant but if you enjoy fishing that usually involves the quiet solitude of peaceful activity of trying to lure a fish onto the line rather than simply detonating it.
"If you want something quick and easy there are fast food outlets for that purpose.
"If you genuinely enjoy fishing than I suggest you resort to the normal methods of a line and tackle.
"But I accept you are a person of limited history with good prospects of rehabilitation.
"I hope this is the last time you see the inside of a prison cell or the inside of a court room," Mr O'Brien told Hughes.
All of the items seized by police were examined by Police Rescue and the Bomb Disposal Unit.
They were identified as 23 (four to six inches long) galvanised steel pipes with a green coloured safety fuse wick protruding from them.
In addition there were 14 (two to three inch long) white PVC pipes with pyrotechnic "sparkles" protruding from one end; two threaded galvanised pipes with end caps screwed on and a safety fuse wick out one end and; nine small commercial pyrotechnics.
"I'm very sorry Your Honour, it was a silly thing to do. Thank you Your Honour, have a good day," Hughes told Mr O'Brien.
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